A Microsatellite Developed by Harbin Institute of Technology Completes Earth-Moon Transfer, Braking at Perilune and Circumlunar Flight
It was learned from Harbin Institute of Technology days before that the ultra-long-wave astronomical observation moon-orbiting microsatellite “Longjiang 2” self-developed by Harbin Institute of Technology has entered into lunar orbit. The on-board small lunar optical imaging detector developed by Saudi Arabia and other payloads have booted up normally, becoming the first microsatellite that had independently completed Earth-Moon transfer, braking at perilune and circumlunar flight in the world.
At 5:00 on May 21 this year, “Longjiang 1” and “Longjiang 2”, two ultra-long-wave astronomical observation moon-orbiting formation microsatellites self-developed by Harbin Institute of Technology, and Chang’e 4 relay satellite “Queqiao” were successfully launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC). After traveling for 113 hours, “Longjiang 2” successfully completed braking at perilune at 22:00 on May 25, entering into the lunar orbit with a perilune of 350 km and an apolune of 13,700 km. Harbin Institute of Technology became the world first institute of higher education that had sent a microspacecraft into lunar orbit.
By report, the two microsatellites, “Longjiang 1” and “Longjiang 2”, in the scientific experiment, only weighed 47 kilograms each. Their propelling system, structure of satellite-rocket separation and antenna structure were completely redesigned in order to give priority to guaranteeing the amount of payload mass and propellant. “Longjiang 1” failed to enter lunar orbit due to control failure during its flight in the lunar transfer orbit (LTO); while “Longjiang 2” successfully entered into lunar orbit, becoming the world’s first microsatellite that had independently completed Earth-Moon transfer, braking at perilune and circumlunar flight.
“Longjiang 2” was loaded with the low-frequency radio detector developed by the National Space Science Center, CAS, the small lunar optical imaging detector (optical camera) developed by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudi Arabia, and other scientific payloads. On May 26, the low-frequency radio detector was turned on for the first time and it began to detect 1-30 MHz frequency spectrum and conduct whole-sky radiation spectrum and other tests and scientific researches. On May 28, Saudi Arabian optical camera was switched on, which had successfully captured visible images of the lunar surface.